How Tim Cook and Kushner Saved Apple Billions: 1 of 3 (Initial Contact)


Kushner connects Apple's Tim Cook and President Trump in an unlikely friendship formed out of mutial self interest.

In late summer tariffs where set to go into effect that would cause Apple to lose billions of dollars in profit. Chief Executive Tim Cook reached out to one of his most important contacts in Washington he had, Jared Kushner. Mr. Kushner arranged a call between Mr. Cook and Trump, giving the Apple chief a chance to explain how tariffs would increase iPhone prices and impair Apple’s ability to compete against foreign rivals such as Samsung. Within days, the Trump administration changed their approach to the tariffs and set a plan to exempt a swath of electronics products, including iPhones, saying it wanted to protect consumers ahead of the holiday shopping season.

A day later Apple issued a press release regarding job growth, saying that since 2011 it had quadrupled the number of jobs its business supports in the U.S. Mr. Trump then publicly praised Mr. Cook’s power of persuasion, saying the CEO had made a compelling argument about tariffs.

The events encapsulated Mr. Cook’s diplomacy with a President no one thought he could reach. Cook was making masterful moves to protect his company’s interests. Since, the Apple CEO has cultivated a relationship with the president and his family, an unlikely alliance given their contrasting personalities and divergent views on many issues.

The unlikely connection between a Hillary Clinton supporter in 2016 who fashioned Apple’s outsourcing strategy, and Mr. Trump, a Republican who campaigned against Apple’s China-based manufacturing, has served each man’s interests in such areas as trade and tax reform, even as they remain divided over immigration and climate change.

The pending impeachment inquiry is unlikely to have an immediate effect on the relationship, according to people close to Apple. Mr. Cook is expected to continue to engage on issues related to the company’s business while steering clear of politics and pushing back on social issues.

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Economics, Finance and Investing